Stakeholders in technical and vocational education said Nigeria will lag behind if it fails to reform the sector to enable the nation to achieve its desired economic goals.
The stakeholders called on the Federal Government to prioritise technical and vocational education, insisting that no nation’s economy can survive without adequate funding of technical education.
The Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Dr Oluremi Nurudeen Olaleye, and his counterpart at the Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, Dr Olufunke Akinkurolere, made the call in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital while speaking to journalists during a function.
Akinkurolere had insisted that Nigeria could only meet its industrial needs if it produced more skilled individuals that would drive its economic development.
According to her, the significance of technical education is not only to provide the much-needed human capital or resources but is also an agent to develop the necessary technological tools and know-how for economic take-off.
Akinkurolere said, “There is no nation that can make any progress with unskilled workers. It is not about the certificate, you can get your BSc or HND, but what skill do you have? This is what we need in this nation. Because when we are talking about making any technological development, we should have people that are skilled.
“We have a lot of areas of needs, we have a lot of big companies springing up, but do we have people that are skilled in this area that can take up the jobs?
“That is why polytechnics come in, to equip students with the needed skills because it is only the skill that can drive the economy.”
On his part, the Rector of LASPOTECH, Olaleye maintained Nigeria would only compete favourably with other countries if the Federal Government overhauled technical education to bring about the much needed economic development.
Olaleye emphasised the need for the government at the centre to meet up with the 24 per cent UNESCO budgetary allocation for education, saying this is the only way the country can secure the future of young Nigerians.
“Education is the bedrock of development without education there can be no development. It is not only education but technology education. The Federal Government has to fund education very well, it is in the funding, that will make more people come on board as participants in the development process and it is only when we develop, that we can compete among the comity of nations.
“Without education and without technology we will be far behind, more nations will go ahead of us and we will not be reckoned with in the comity of nations.
“We are far behind in technical education compared to other countries. We need to put more efforts, put in more funding, more expertise, more training so that we can at least compete favourably among the comity of nations,” the Lagos polytechnic Rector submitted.